Diary Excerpt: Report on the Battle of Malvern Hill by J.D. Eggleston

Battle of Malvern Hill, 1862.
Battle of Malvern Hill, 1862.

By J.D. Eggleston
11/11/2013 • Civil War Times

J.D. Eggleston, a Richmond-area doctor, was the brother-in-law of Lt. George W. Finley, who led Company E of the 14th VA at Malvern Hill. Here,Eggleston summarizes the post-battle situation to his sister Margaret, Finley’s wife. This is from an excerpt from the December 2013 Civil War Times.

1½ Oclock. P.M. July 2 1862
My dear Margaret
I have been in great anxiety all day about Mr[.] Finley, fearing to hear from the Regt[.], learning as I did that he was in the bloody engagement last night – which was perhaps the most desperate of the fights around the city – I heard from him last night just as he was going into the engagement, hence my uneasiness – But I am greatly relieved by hearing directly from him 20 minutes ago. [H]e was unhurt, but is complaining, so much so that he cannot go in [and] has returned to camp – though not much sick I hear – and will I hope come here to me. I have sent him word by his Col to come. I have a room here ready for him which I shall hold in case of his needing it. I telegraphed to you today – thinking it would relieve your anxiety – Rest assured that happen what may he shall be well cared for. My stay here is mostly on his account, besides assisting all the poor wounded fellows I can. Numbers of my friends have been killed or wounded.

Matt Lyle poor fellow – was killed – also Abram Carrington – John Booker is safe, so far. God grant the few left of those I care for may be spared. Young Arnold from Finley’s old company lost his arm. I understand Daniel Spencer, Mr Alick Spencer’s son was brought in last night desperately wounded in the thigh – will probably die – I removed him from the hospital to a private room where he can get the best attention. I have written for his Father to come – he is a noble boy, bears it so heroically. I do not know how long I shall be here. [I] shall remain here as long as I am needed. I sent Mr F. a bundle of provisions by his Col Evans who seemed very glad indeed of the opportunity of carrying something to him[;] he speaks in the highest terms of him – says he loves him, that he is noble & brave & is a universal favorite – said he would try and manage to send him to the city to see me if he was not needed on the field – said he wanted him to come[.] We are still repulsing the enemy with heavy loss on each side – taking a great number of prisoners – have now Seven Genl’s. The city is crowded, jammed, and squeezed with visitors, provisions very scarce. I have a ham of meat[.] I eat it when I cant get enough.

Your Uncle Jas is here, [your] Uncle Elbert also – his boys have not been in the fight – Annie & all well when I left home.
Will write to you again if necessary – Goodbye very affy &
J.D. Eggleston


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